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Decatur Signs Promote Walking

October 8, 2013

Decatur signs tell how long it takes to walk to activity centers.
As part of its active living initiatives, Decatur has installed signs in strategic areas around the city to help promote walking and take cars off the road. The signs tell how long it will take to walk to activity centers in the city.

“We identified several areas around town and then figured out the distances and steps between these areas. These were put on signs listing the activity centers and distances on one side and a map on the other,” said Decatur Assistant City Manager Lyn Menne. “We wanted to find a creative and visible way to get people to ‘think’ about walking as an option by helping them to understand how really close activity centers and service needs are to each other.”
 
Assistant Active Living Director Cheryl Burnette noted that Decatur is a Silver Level “Walk Friendly Community” and the city wanted to continue to improve walkability as well as educate and encourage people to walk as part of their daily routine.
 
“Our goal is to have people park once, and then walk to various destinations within the city,” she said. “We included popular destinations and placed the signs where people were more likely to park or begin their destination. For example, we placed one near the hotel so that visitors would see that there was a park not too far away that they could walk to, or it would be a short stroll to the post office and one wouldn’t need a car to get there. We also added a QR code to the signs next to each destination. People with smart phones can scan the codes and get a map to their destination. If someone doesn’t have a smart phone, the map is on the flip side of the sign.”
 
The Decatur Downtown Development Authority funded the signs and city staff installed them.